Monday, February 17, 2014

Four Generations of Seaver Ancestors in the Leominster, Mass. City Directories

One of my ongoing research projects has been to identify my ancestral families in City Directories.
City Directories can provide a useful accounting of the addresses where families resided, the occupations of the residents, and spouse's names.  They are usually presented alphabetically by surname.  They can also be used to identify neighbors if there is a cross-street index.

For example, here is a page from the 1940 Leominster City Directory (found on

I did this task recently for my Seaver families in Leominster and Fitchburg and put them in a word processor table.  Here are the results:

Unfortunately, does not a City Directory for every year from Leominster, so coverage is uneven.  I only traced my ancestral families for Fitchburg.

Using these tables, I can trace where my Seaver families resided between 1883 and 1943.  For instance:

1)  My second great-grandfather, Isaac Seaver (1823-1901) resided:

*  on Lancaster Street in 1883 and 1885,
*  at 1 Cedar in 1893 and 1897,
*  at 7 Cedar from 1897 to 1901.

It's likely that the entries refer to the same house, since the house at 7 Cedar is on the corner with Lancaster.  He died in 1901, so he wasn't in later directories, and neither was his wife.

2)  My great-grandfather, Frank W. Seaver (1852-1922) resided at:

*  on Central Street in 1883,
*  on Lancaster Street in 1885,
*  at 47 Lancaster Street in 1891,
*  at 63 Lancaster Street in 1893 and 1897,
*  at 149 Lancaster Street from 1898 to 1922.

It may be that all of the Lancaster addresses refer to the same house location and the numbering system changed.

3)  My grandfather, Frederick W. Seaver (1876-1942) resided at:

*  at 63 Lancaster Street in 1893 and 1897
*  at 149 Lancaster Street in 1896 to 1906
*  in Fitchburg at 56 Lincoln Street in 1907 and 1909
*  at 290 Central Street from 1913 to 1922
*  at 282 Central Street in 1924 to 1925
*  at 20 Hall from Street 1925 to 1935
*  at 65 Pleasant Street in 1936 and 1938
*  at 14 Vassar Street in 1939
*  at 90 Main Street in 1940-1942

4)  My father, Frederick W. Seaver, Jr., (1911-1983) resided at:

*  20 Hall Street from 1931-1935
*  at 65 Pleasant Street in 1936 and 1938
*  at 14 Vassar Street in 1939
*  at 90 Main Street in 1940
*  at 918 Main Street in 1941 and 1942
*  in 1943, the record says "removed to Santiago Cal" [meaning San Diego, California, which he did in December 1940]

Most of the other listings for Seaver in Leominster are siblings of Frank , Fred Sr., or Fred Jr.

While these listings are incomplete, and the information may not be accurate for each year, it has helped identify where my Seaver ancestors resided in Leominster and Fitchburg.  I knew about some of the addresses, but several of the addresses are new to me.

Now I'm struggling with a decision - should I add every residence event and occupation event into my database with a separate source citation for every year?  Or should I "lump" some together where the address stayed the same and the occupation stayed the same?  What do my readers do with information like this?

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Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

1 comment:

Cormac said...

This is a great idea! I just wish I had enough time to do it myself!